2022 was a year of massive change for me.
I moved from San Francisco to Toronto. At work, I transitioned from a software engineer to an engineering manager. I worked remotely from 5 cities in North America.
Such big changes can come with big purchases. However, I have kept a tight lid on my digital wallet. Being a minimalist, I hate materialistic possessions. I like being flexible and traveling light wherever I go.
If there is one thing that I learned in the last few years, it is that physical (and digital) clutter really affects my productivity and mental health. I like open spaces. That’s why I don’t like too many things around me.
2022 has also been the year when I started becoming more conscious of my carbon footprint. I have tried to minimize it wherever possible. That’s yet another factor that went into a lot of purchases that I have made.
Keeping these in mind, let’s look at 5 of my best purchases of 2022.
Being a newbie in the winter wonderland called Toronto meant revamping my wardrobe. At the same time, I have been leaning more and more toward sustainable clothing.
I checked out some of the thrift stores around me, and there are only a couple of things I actually liked. It’s difficult to get clothes that you like and that also fit you well from thrift stores.
To complete my wardrobe, I had to turn to buy new clothes. That’s when I decided to pick a few Canadian brands that had good sustainable practices.
After extensive research, there’s only one brand that fits all the criteria — TenTree
TenTree has a B Corp certification. That means it’s up there when it comes to sustainable practices. Being Canadian, shipping also involves very little transportation. Their packaging is very minimal too, and most of the material is either recyclable or compostable.
So far the quality of TenTree clothes has been amazing! Even after multiple machine washes and wearing them extensively during rough weather, they have remained in pristine quality.
Over the past couple of months I have bought the following:
- Gym t-shirts
They also plant ten trees for every item you purchase. You can even find out where in the physical world your tree is being planted.
Everything considered I am glad I found this brand, and I have loved every purchase from them so far.
Used Car with Apple Carplay
One of the biggest decisions I had to make when I landed in Toronto was whether to buy a car or not.
As I started thinking more about my carbon footprint, it made sense for me not to buy a car and depend on public transport. I tried that life for a couple of weeks but absolutely hated it.
The public transportation system in Greater Toronto was horrendous for me. Even going to the gym every morning was a pain.
That’s when I decided to buy a car.
Given how frugal and mindful I am when it comes to spending, it was very natural for me to pick the cheapest car available that can take me from point A to B.
On the other hand, given I am a productivity geek, I really wanted a car with Apple Carplay. It would integrate seamlessly with my productivity setup.
Hence, started my search for the best used car with Apple Carplay that fit my budget.
I finally landed on a 2018 Hyundai Elantra. I love it!
It has literally saved me hundreds of hours! The convenience cannot be beaten. Especially in the winter now that Toronto is getting cold, I don’t think I could have done without a car.
An absolute must during the summers!
In the last few months, I have been to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, and most recently Toronto. During the summer all these places get lots of sunlight, which makes a pair of sunglasses an absolute essential.
Especially when driving around or even just walking out and about, without a pair of sunglasses it’s very difficult to enjoy yourself.
For most of my life, I used very cheap sunglasses from Amazon, because I never really saw the point of splurging.
However, a few months ago I decided to present myself with a pair of RayBans on my birthday.
I can’t see myself going back to anything else.
My dad bought his pair of RayBans back in 2000 and it has lasted him for 22 years and counting! I plan on doing the same with mine.
3-in-1 Charging Station
One of the most surprising productivity purchases has been the 3-in-1 charging station I got from Amazon.
I own the following devices:
- iPhone 12
- Apple Airpods Pro
- Apple Watch SE
All three devices support wireless charging. Having this charging station on my nightstand and charging these overnight is a piece of cake.
I can just throw the devices onto the charging pad, and by the time I wake up all these are ready to go.
I never think twice before spending my hard-earned money on books.
The value I get from reading most books is priceless. When it comes to fiction, I rent them from libraries. For non-fiction, however, I buy them just because of their re-readability.
Over the years, I have bought many books that I absolutely loved! Here are a few that I purchased in 2022 and got immense value out of them:
- The Making of a Manager
- The Intelligent Investor
- Atomic Habits
- Deep Work
- The Story of More
- Things My Son Needs to Know About the World
- The Coddling of the American Mind
- Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows
- Outwitting the Devil
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
A few more that I bought this year, but plan on reading these in the coming years:
- Animal Liberation
- How Not to Die
- Why We Sleep
- Make Time
- The Status Game
- The Daily Stoic
- The Psychology of Money
- Capital in the Twenty-First Century
- Why Nations Fail
- When Breath Becomes Air
- 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
- The Black Swan
- The Millionaire Fastlane
- This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate
That’s a lot of books bought in one year! However, I know that in the long run, the value I will get out of this is much more than what I put it.
I hope you found this a valuable read and have some takeaways that you can go ahead and implement in your wonderful lives.
If you enjoyed the content and want to support me, please consider doing the following: